Japanese Name: サントリー クラフトセレクト ペールエール
Release: May 12, 2015
Type: Japanese Beer (ビール)
Purchase Price: ￥257 @FamilyMart
Starting off Suntory’s new Craft Select series is Suntory Pale Ale. It’s an all malt beer starring Cascade hops to give a wonderful citrusy flavor. Obviously, this beer will not be your standard Japanese brew, so here’s the rundown.
Suntory’s Pale Ale pours out with an excellent frothy head that does stick around a bit. In the glass it has an appealing burnt orange hue. On the nose is an unusual fruitiness, with almost soap-like after-notes. Your first gulp with be very hoppy, showing off its full flavor right up front. It’s very fruity with hints of citrus while while the sweetness keeps the flavor well-rounded. The bitterness from the Cascade hops kicks in at the end, but does not build too much over the course of the glass. Interestingly, the aftertaste alternates between yeast, malt, and citrus.
This is a very easy drinking pale ale compared to its foreign and domestic microbrew companions. First of all, it is not over-hopped, while the flavors remain quite unique in comparison to other brews on the Japanese market. There is something in the fragrance and on the back of the palate that really does remind me of hand-made soap, maybe chamomile or rose… I can’t quite put my finger on it. In the end, Suntory’s Pale Ale is a must try if you’re into the bolder style of Japanese beers.